Monday, October 2, 2023

Delhi court grants bail to former Bihar Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, others in land-for-job case

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A local court in Delhi on Wednesday granted bail to former Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, along with their daughter and RJD MP Misa Bharti, in a case related to the alleged land-for-job scam.

Special Judge Geetanjali Goel at the Rouse Avenue Courts granted bail to the family on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of the like amount each on the grounds that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed the charge sheet without arrest.

On February 27, Special Judge Goel had issued summons to Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri and daughter Misa Bharti, directing them to appear before the court on March 15.

The court had prima facie observed that the material on record showed commission of offences under Sections 120B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC and Sections 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 (2), 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The case was related to alleged appointments made in the Railways in return for land parcels gifted or sold to Lalu Prasad’s family when he was Railways Minister between 2004 and 2009.

A charge sheet was filed in the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on October 10, 2022 against 16 persons. A sanction was then obtained to prosecute Yadav and others.

CBI had alleged in its charge sheet that irregular appointments were made in the Railways, violating laid down norms and procedures of Indian Railways for recruitment.

It further said that various residents of Bihar were appointed as substitutes in Group-D posts during 2004 to 2009 in different zones of Railways located at Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur.

As per CBI, in lieu of the same, the candidates directly or through their family members, transferred their land in the name of family members of then Union Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad Yadav and a company namely M/s AK Infosystems Private Limited, which was subsequently taken over by Yadav’s family, at about one-fifth of the prevailing market rates.

As per the national agency, no advertisement or public notice was issued for the appointment of substitutes in Zonal Railways and undue haste was shown in processing their applications.

The court recorded in its order that the probe had revealed that the candidates were considered for their engagement without any need for Substitutes. There was no urgency for their appointment, which was one of the main criteria behind the engagement of Substitutes. They joined their duties much later from the approval of their appointment and they were subsequently regularised, noted the court.

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